The beautiful story of birth experience is one of life’s greatest but please read this story with the thought that Dierdre is a reasonably healthy lady just under 30 years of age. unfortunately in this day and age most ladies are not what we could call healthy and should read the page on preparing for pregnancy later in the website.
This is my birthing experience from the past 15 years, the lows and the highs. What I have realized over this time is that the process of birth for the female body, if adhering to natural methods, is an empowering and completely instinctive experience. The human body, if allowed to complete the cycle of birth naturally, will do so in a remarkable and precise manner.
Approaching my second imminent birth in Australia, I did find that the memory of my first childʼs birth did constantly set a benchmark of what I didnʼt want to repeat in subsequent births. I did have some laughing gas during the final contractions, and that was very relieving, of pain and some anxiety, but all I remember of my second childʼs birth was that it was very straightforward, to the point of being almost too easy!
By the time I entered my third pregnancy, I had learn that I was able to advocate for the way I wanted to give birth – to have a Birth Plan in place months before the event. That in itself was reassuring and gave me something to research, fine tune and work towards by the due date. I had chosen The Birth Center at RWH in Brisbane to have my third baby. A whole plethora of choices and options opened up for me, as the Birth Center philosophy adhered to was the least intervention possible, unless medically required, would occur throughout the birth, from start to finish. The baby would arrive when it was ready, I could have as many or few support people of my choice there during labor and beyond, I could elect to have pain relieving medication, soothing and distracting devices such as aromatherapy and my own music were available, I could choose my own birthing style, (no stirrups in sight!), and the end result, was that I was able to experience nature and instinct in all its precision and glory. And what I felt was the female body is totally empowered by birth!
It started to occur to me that if this instinctive process was interrupted or overridden by medical intervention, the body would be numbed and uninformed about what it was supposed to flow onto next in the predetermined birth plan that exists naturally in every female body. Distinctive stages in a natural birth could not follow, as the body would not have completed the previous stages, therefore leaving it confused and interrupted.
This left huge question marks over the sanity of elective caesarean sections, inducement, epidurals and the like. Of course, these thoughts were without question not including situations where medical intervention could save the life and optimum well being of both the mother and child. In my particular case, I had been fortunate to fall into the low risk category, where any intervention would be unlikely.My fourth child was also born in the same Birth Center in Brisbane, but this time, after having a gap of 4 years instead of 18 months between pregnancies, I noticed some changes in the bodyʼs ability to snap into the stages of birth so readily. Given also that I was in my late 30ʼs, I felt like the well oiled cogs of the birth canal had seized up somewhat.
Despite this, the overwhelming force of nature and the inbuilt mechanisms driving instinct were well and truly felt. I remember the moment when the contractions started to intensify and I became fully dilated, I was reminded about how clear the stages of birth could be!
Finally, as the babyʼs head was beginning to crown, and the Midwife directed me to push and stop pushing, I realized how empowered I felt by the ability to control the primal urge to push and allow the perineum to stretch that little bit more. When I was told that the cord was wrapped a number of times around the babyʼs neck, in that moment of energy, I was able to focus enough on the need to stop pushing long enough for the Midwife to untangle the cord and the pushing to resume in controlled bursts.